Alex Massie

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face & Welcome to America

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At last, real change we can believe in: the Obama administration is lifting the pernicious ban on haggis that for more than 20 years* has deprived Americans the chance to munch the great chieftain o' the pudden-race.

True, during the long, dark years of prohibition some enterprising American butchers stepped into the breach and made versions of the noble creature that attempted to emulate the real thing. While fine as far as they go such enterprises can only go so far. Trying to make haggis without using sheeps' lungs is, in the end, an insuperable problem. All heart but not enough pluck, you might say.

So here at least Obama has achieved something that neither his predecessor nor Bill Clinton had the courage to take on. Granted, this may not rise to even the Midnight Backetball level of small but promising initiatives launched on the back of electoral setbacks. But, my friends, it is a start...

Should you wish to be a have-a-go-hero and make your own haggis, The Guardian's Tim Hayward has an excellent step-by-step demonstration.

Anyway, Happy Burns Night everyone. Here's Eddi Reader singing Ae Fond Kiss at Celtic Connections:

*Haggis was a casualty of the great BSE-scare and it was claimed that feasting upon haggis would mean you'd die of scrapie. Like so many other panics this one proved to be all but groundless. Funny that.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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